Verses on missions: Christian missions in the Bible

"We must choose this day whether we will hide our eyes from the need and close our ears to the call or whether we will tackle with new decisiveness, mixed with humility and devotion, the unchanging command of a faithful God who is still seeking."
   — Ralph Winter in Faithful in Christ Jesus: A mission reader

Does the Old Testament (a.k.a. Hebrew Bible) have a missionary message?

globeHarvest passages: 120 Old Testament verses on missions

Why missions? We have a mission to fulfill: Biblical passages dealing with world evangelism

     Are you working on a global missionary sermon or message? Do you have to do a Bible study on missions? Has someone asked the question: Why missions? Why should I be concerned about the global harvest of souls?
     Sacred scripture is full of explicit as well as implicit references to God's will for world evangelism. Most evangelical believers know the Great Commission: "Go ye into all the world."
     The Great Commission is only one reason for God's people to be doing global mission. There are lots of other missions verses in God's Word. Here is a partial listing of missionary scriptures — scriptures concerning missions — from the Old Testament. Use these to encourage a clear missionary vision. Several passages have links to where they are cited on other pages of this web site.
     Some of these Bible phrases relating to missions would make great Faith Promise convention themes.

80 New Testament passages about world missions

Old Testament and missions

  • Genesis 1:1 — Engage magazine article
  • Genesis 9:17 — God's covenant with "all life on the earth"
  • Genesis 12:1-3 (repeated in Gen. 18:18, 22:17-18, 26:4 and 28:12-14) — Engage magazine article
  • Exodus 9:14-16 — "I have raised you up for this very purpose . . . that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth"
  • Exodus 19:6 — Israel was to be a "kingdom of priests" — Engage magazine article
  • Numbers 14:21 — glory of Lord fills the whole earth
  • Deuteronomy 4:6-8 — show your understanding to the nations
  • Deuteronomy 10:19 — "You are to love those who are aliens" Engage magazine article
  • Deuteronomy 28:10 — "all the peoples on the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord"
  • Deuteronomy 32:1 - "Hear, O earth, the words of my mouth."
  • Joshua 4:24 — "so that all the peoples of the earth might know"
  • 1 Samuel 2:10 — "The LORD will judge the ends of the earth."
  • 1 Samuel 17:46 — "the whole world will know there is a God in Israel"
  • 1 Kings 8:41-43, 59-60 (also in 2 Chronicles 6:32-33) — "so that all peoples of the earth may know your name" (Solomon's prayer at dedication of Temple)
  • 2 Kings 19:15, 19 — "Hezekiah prayed . . . : O LORD, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.'"
  • 1 Chronicles 16:23-24 — "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples"
  • 1 Chronicles 16:28 — "O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength."
  • 1 Chronicles 16:31 "Let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, The Lord reigns!'"
  • 2 Chronicles 6:32-33 — "so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you"
  • Psalm 2:7-10 — "You are my Son . . . I will make the nations your inheritance"
  • Psalm 7:7-8 — "Let the Lord judge the peoples"
  • Psalm 8:9 — "How majestic is your name in all the earth!"
  • Psalm 9:11 — "Proclaim among the nations what he has done." Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 18:49 — "I will praise you among the nations" Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 19:1-4 — "their words to the ends of the world"
  • Psalm 22:26-28 — "all the families of the nations will bow down"
  • Psalm 22:27 — "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord" Engagemagazine article
  • Psalm 24 — "The earth is the Lord's"
  • Psalm 33 — "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord"
  • Psalm 45:17 — "The nations will praise you for ever and ever"
  • Psalm 46:10 — "I will be exalted among the nations"
  • Psalm 47 — "God reigns over the nations"
  • Psalm 48:10 — "Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth" Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 49:1 — "Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world"
  • Psalm 50 — "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets"
  • Psalm 57 — "I will sing of you among the peoples"
  • Psalm 59:13 — "It will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob."
  • Psalm 65:5-8 — "the hope of all the ends of the earth . . . where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy" Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 66 — "All the earth bows down to you . . . Praise our God, O peoples"
  • Psalm 67 — "your salvation among all peoples"
  • Psalm 68:32 — "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth"
  • Psalm 72 — "all nations will serve him"
  • Psalm 72:9 — "the desert tribes will bow before him"
  • Psalm 72:17, 19 — "All nations will be blessed through him . . . May the whole earth be filled with his glory"
  • Psalm 77:14 — "you display your power among the peoples"
  • Psalm 82 — "all the nations are your inheritance"
  • Psalm 83:18 — "You alone are the Most High over all the earth."
  • Psalm 86:8-13 — all nations will come and worship
  • Psalm 87 — the register of the peoples
  • Psalm 96 — "sing to the Lord, all the earth . . . Declare his glory among the nations"
  • Psalm 97 — "The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice"
  • Psalm 98:3 — "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
  • Psalm 98:9 — "He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity."
  • Psalm 99:1-3 — "He is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name"
  • Psalm 102:15 — "The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory."
  • Psalm 102:22 — "when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord"
  • Psalm 105:1 — "make known among the nations what He has done" Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 106:8 — reason for dividing the Red Sea
  • Psalm 107:3 — "the redeemed of the LORD . . . those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south"
  • Psalm 108:3 — "I will sing of you among the peoples"
  • Psalm 108:5 — "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth."
  • Psalm 110:6 — "He will judge the nations"
  • Psalm 113:3 — "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised" — Engage magazine article
  • Psalm 117 — "Praise the Lord, all you nations"
  • Psalm 126 — "it was said among the nations"
  • Psalm 135 — "our Lord is greater than all gods"
  • Psalm 138:4 — "may all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord"
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11 — "[God] has set eternity in the hearts of men."
  • Isaiah 2:3 — "Many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.'"
  • Isaiah 5:26 — "He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth."
  • Isaiah 6:3 — "They were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'"
  • Isaiah 11:9 — "fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord"
  • Isaiah 11:10 — "a Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples, the nations will rally to Him"
  • Isaiah 12:4 — "Make known among the nations what He has done"
  • Isaiah 24:14-16 — "From the ends of the earth we hear singing: Glory to the Righteous One.'" Engage magazine article
  • Isaiah 25:6 — "the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples"
  • Isaiah 34:1 — "Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples!"
  • Isaiah 37:16 — "O Lord Almighty . . . , you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth."
  • Isaiah 42:4 — "in His law the islands will put their hope"
  • Isaiah 42:6 — "I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles."
  • Isaiah 42:10 — "Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the end of the earth"
  • Isaiah 43:6 — "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'"
  • Isaiah 45:6 — "from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me."
  • Isaiah 45:22 — "Turn to me . . . all you ends of the earth"
  • Isaiah 49:1-6 — "I will make you a light for the Gentiles"
  • Isaiah 49:22 — "The Sovereign Lord says: "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples."
  • Isaiah 51:4-5 — "My justice will become a light to the nations . . . the coastlands hope for me"
  • Isaiah 52:7, 10 — "The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God."
  • Isaiah 56:7 — "my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations"
  • Isaiah 57:19 — "Peace to those near and far . . . I will heal them"
  • Isaiah 59:19 — "From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His glory."
  • Isaiah 60:3 — "Nations will come to your light"
  • Isaiah 62:11 — "The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth"
  • Isaiah 65:1 — "I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."
  • Isaiah 66:18-19 — "They will proclaim my glory among the nations"Engage magazine article
  • Jeremiah 1:5 — "I appointed you as a prophet to the nations"
  • Jeremiah 3:17 — "All nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord"
  • Jeremiah 16:19 To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good."
  • Jeremiah 31:10 — "Heard the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands"
  • Ezekiel 34:4, 6 — "[My sheep] were scattered over the whole earth and no one searched or looked for them."
  • Ezekiel 36:22-23 — "The nations will know I am the Lord"
  • Ezekiel 38:20 — "All the people on earth will tremble at my presence"
  • Daniel 2:47; 4:1-2; 6:25 — "Surely your God is the God of gods"
  • Daniel 7:13, 14 — "all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him"
  • Jonah's story — the missionary book of the Old Testament [ e-book on Jonah ] [ Engage magazine article ]
  • Micah 1:2 — "Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it."
  • Micah 4:2 — "Many nations will come"
  • Micah 5:4 — "His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth."
  • Habbakuk 2:14 — "The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea"
  • Zephaniah 2:11 — "Nations on every shore will worship him"
  • Zephaniah 3:9 — "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord."Engage magazine article
  • Haggai 2:7 — "Desire of all nations"
  • Zechariah 2:11 — "Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people"
  • Zechariah 8:20-23 — "Many peoples and inhabitants of many cities will come"
  • Zechariah 9:10 — "He will proclaim peace to the nations"
  • Zechariah 14:9 — "The Lord will be king over the whole earth."
  • Malachi 1:10-11 — "My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun"

80 New Testament passages about world missions

Into whatever groups we divide humanity — races, nations, languages, cultures — it is clear that God loves all of them and wants people from all those groupings to be reconciled to Him.

In top line blessings/bottom line responsibilities categories of Don Richardson and Bob Sjogren, many of these scriptures are of the bottom line responsibility type.

"Make known among the nations what He has done." — Psalm 105:1

Page of missions slogans, classic scripture passages and faces from the "crowd of witnesses": PDF format

The barbarians become Christian

Click hereIn the years 400-800 the Germanic tribes of central Europe turned to Christ in massive numbers. [ read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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